Othello Essay

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There is no true distinction between a hero and a villain, as there is no clear distinction between what is right and what is wrong. A hero can become a villain; a villain can become a hero. Right can become wrong, wrong can become right. Thus, with this in mind, it can be said that Othello is portrayed as a hero and a villain in different parts of the play. He did what he thought to be the right actions, which unfortunately brought about the wrong consequences. The extent in which Othello is portrayed as a villain or hero are explored through the themes of jealousy, manhood and honour, as well as the theme of self-identity. The theme of jealousy is explored in the text The Tragedy of Othello through Iago manipulating Othello into believing that Desdemona is cheating on him. Through jealousy, Othello became the barbarian, the “black ram”, or a “Barbary horse” (I.i.117-118) that he is described as by the general population; he becomes a villain whom everyone assumed he is. However, one can question whether he is the true villain or not? He was under heavy influence from Iago, and hence one may also question to what extent is Othello the villain in this case? Othello is considered a villain in this case because he killed an innocent women; however if we look at it from his point of view, then it can be considered that what he did was due to his over affection for her, and also due to him being misled by Iago. Othello, in this case, cannot be considered to be a villain, but rather a manipulated tool. One may also argue that Othello’s resultant actions were over the top, and unnecessary. However, is it right to justify Othello as a villain based on actions he did due to the manipulating of Iago? One can see the love which Othello displayed to Desdemona; through his speech “If heaven would make me such another world/of one entire and perfect chrysolite/I’d not have sold her for it” (V.ii.145-147). All the more, because he loved her so, he was an easy target to be...
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